Smartphones now make up half of all U.S. mobile subscriptions, accounting for 50.4 percent of mobile phones, up from 47.8 percent just three months ago. But what’s more interesting from a digital media perspective is the demographics of these users.

This new research found that men and women are represented in smartphone ownership in almost exactly the same ratio as they are in the population. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 50.8 percent of the country’s population is female, and Nielsen reports that 50.9 of smartphone owners are that same gender.

Where Nielsen found differences was when it comes to ethnicity. In the first quarter of 2012, 67.3 percent of Asian Americans used a smartphone as their primary mobile handset. That compares to 57.3 percent of Hispanics, a majority (54.4 percent) of African Americans, and 44.7 percent of whites. (See the chart below.)

For those who can’t resist tracking the popularity of operating systems, nearly half of U.S. smartphone users (48 percent) opted for a device that runs on Android. (See the chart below.)

Apple is the manufacturer that leads in handsets sold, even though its iOS has 32.1 percent of the operating system market share, due to there being many more Android manufacturers to choose from. Research in Motion comes in a distant third, with 11.6 percent of U.S. smartphone owners having a BlackBerry.

Related links:

Nielsen – blog post

Nielsen – media summary